Today is ANZAC Day. In recognition of the landing of ANZAC forces in the Dardanelles in Turkey in 1915, we thought it would be an interesting to look at how fashion changed due to WWI.
Prior, Edwardian fashion was all the rage with ankle length skirts and tightly bound corsets with strong lines. Having a cinched waist and many layers was the pinnacle of high fashion.
With the beginning of the war in Europe, this lead to women having to take up jobs that were previously held by men. The practicalities of ladies wearing such restrictive clothing gave way to something more practical. Skirts became shorter, wearing less jewellery became normal, and colours moved into more muted tones. Appearing too opulent at that time, even for those who could still afford such a lifestyle, was very out of fashion.
After the war, a longer hemline was seen from mid-calf, but gave way to natural waistlines. Drop-waisted dresses were a defining feature in the 1920’s and women started to wear shoes with a heel as they could be seen underneath skirts.
Women wearing trousers could sometimes be seen during the WWI but it wouldn’t be until WWII that women wore pants both at work and socially; something that continued after the war.
The World Wars saw not only a drastic change in what women wore, but also their daily lives. Instead of dainty wallflowers, women gained the right to their own freedom to wear and think what they wanted. They started to step out into workplaces and hobbies that they previously were not allowed to even consider. Women had proved that they could do anything they set out to accomplish and the world slowly changed to accommodate that. And that is one of the most inspiring things of all. In the face of adversity, something empowering came of it.
Nina, Personal Stylist
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